While there are undoubtedly numerous advantages to spending the holidays snugly at home—such as watching your cherished Christmas movies in coordinating family pyjamas, filling your loved ones’ stockings with delightful surprises, and adorning your Christmas tree as part of those wonderful traditions—there’s truly nothing comparable to embarking on a one-of-a-kind Christmas getaway.

Beyond the mere act of seeking variety, embarking on journeys to diverse destinations during the Christmas season offers you the opportunity to witness the unique ways in which various cultures embrace and celebrate the holidays. Whether you’re in search of a sun-soaked respite on a tropical beach, yearning to escape your winter coat after months of bundling up, or eager to partake in an extra festive holiday while skiing amidst the enchanting Swiss Alps with accompanying Christmas markets, there exists a Christmas vacation perfectly tailored to the preferences of every type of family.

Regarding the cost, embarking on a holiday getaway is likely to come with a higher price tag compared to other weeks, given that it’s one of the busiest times of the year for travel. However, according to Amy Metzger, a Luxury Travel Advisor with Travel Edge, she believes that the additional expense is justified.

“The increased expenses associated with holiday travel,” Metzger explained, “are an investment in the unique experiences and events that are exclusive to this time of year. One strategy to mitigate these costs is to plan your travel for the actual holiday dates, such as December 25th or January 1st, as they often come with lower price tags.”

Scottish Highlands & Edinburgh – Scotland

The Scottish Highlands and Edinburgh stand out as one of the most enchanting Christmas vacation destinations for 2023. Nestled amidst the rugged beauty of the Highlands, you’ll find a winter wonderland that seems straight out of a fairy tale. The pristine landscapes covered in a blanket of snow offer a picture-perfect backdrop for a cosy holiday escape. Imagine sipping on warm mulled wine by a crackling fireplace in a charming Highland cottage, surrounded by snow-capped mountains – it’s a scene that embodies the true spirit of Christmas. You can also explore the region’s rich history and folklore, which come alive during the holiday season through traditional Scottish celebrations and events.

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, transforms into a magical Christmas haven during December. The city’s historic streets and architecture are adorned with dazzling Christmas lights and decorations, creating a captivating atmosphere that draws visitors from all over the world. Edinburgh’s Christmas Market, located in the heart of the city, is a must-visit. Here, you can browse through stalls selling handcrafted gifts, savour delicious Scottish cuisine, and enjoy thrilling rides and attractions. The highlight of the season is the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which features a spectacular display of music, dance, and fireworks against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

For a truly unforgettable Christmas vacation, you can combine the best of both worlds by starting in the Scottish Highlands, immersing yourself in nature and tranquillity, and then venturing to Edinburgh to experience the bustling festive spirit.

Sydney – Australia

Sydney, Australia, is undeniably one of the best Christmas vacation destinations for 2023. While the Northern Hemisphere experiences winter during the holiday season, Sydney is basking in the warmth of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer. This contrast makes Sydney a unique and appealing choice for those looking to celebrate Christmas in a sun-soaked paradise. Bondi Beach, with its golden sands and clear waters, is a popular spot for festive beach picnics and outdoor activities on Christmas Day. Imagine enjoying a barbecue with friends and family under the shade of palm trees, followed by a refreshing dip in the ocean – it’s a Christmas experience like no other.

Sydney’s festive spirit comes to life with vibrant decorations, including the iconic Christmas tree at Martin Place and the dazzling lights that adorn the Sydney Opera House. Circular Quay hosts a spectacular light show on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, illuminating the night sky with colourful displays. Darling Harbour is transformed into a Christmas wonderland with a giant Christmas tree and a variety of family-friendly events. Visitors can also explore the local markets for unique Christmas gifts and savour a fusion of international cuisines in Sydney’s diverse culinary scene, making it a festive season to remember.

Additionally, Sydney’s cultural attractions, such as the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum of Contemporary Art, provide a perfect blend of artistic and historical experiences.

Prague – Czech Republic

Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, emerges as one of the most captivating Christmas vacation destinations for 2023. The city’s fairytale-like ambience, with its historic architecture and cobblestone streets, takes on a magical quality during the holiday season. The heart of Prague, Old Town Square, transforms into a winter wonderland adorned with twinkling lights, a towering Christmas tree, and a bustling Christmas market. Here, you can shop for handmade crafts, savour traditional Czech treats like trdelník (a sweet pastry), and warm up with mulled wine or hot chocolate. The sight of the historic Astronomical Clock striking the hour against the backdrop of festive lights is a sight to behold.

One of Prague’s unique Christmas traditions is the lighting of Advent candles on the Charles Bridge, creating a serene and romantic atmosphere as the sun sets over the Vltava River. The city’s historic castles and palaces, including Prague Castle, are often dusted with a layer of snow, offering a picturesque backdrop for your holiday photos. In addition to the stunning architecture, Prague hosts classical concerts and carol singers in its churches, adding a touch of cultural richness to your Christmas experience.

Exploring the city’s charming neighbourhoods, like Mala Strana and Hradcany, can feel like stepping into a Christmas storybook. The warmth of the locals and the festive decorations will make you feel right at home, and the city’s rich history and culture provide a fascinating backdrop for your holiday adventures.

Lapland – Finland

Lapland, located in the northernmost part of Finland, is undoubtedly one of the most enchanting Christmas vacation destinations for 2023. Often referred to as the “Official Hometown of Santa Claus,” Lapland offers a magical winter wonderland experience like no other. Visitors can embark on a thrilling journey to meet Santa Claus himself at Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. The village is adorned with festive decorations year-round, and during the Christmas season, it comes alive with holiday cheer. Children and adults alike can enjoy sleigh rides, meet reindeer, and explore Santa’s cosy workshop.

One of the highlights of a Lapland Christmas vacation is witnessing the mesmerizing Northern Lights. The clear, dark skies of the Arctic Circle provide a stunning backdrop for this natural phenomenon, creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience for travellers. You can opt for Northern Lights safaris or simply step outside on a clear night to witness the dancing colours in the sky, adding an extra layer of magic to your holiday.

Lapland also offers a wide range of winter activities, from husky sledging and snowmobiling to ice fishing and cross-country skiing. The pristine snowy landscapes and tranquil wilderness provide the perfect setting for these adventures.

The Alps & Vienna – Austria

The majestic Alps and the cultural gem of Vienna combine to create an extraordinary Christmas vacation destination for 2023. The Alps, with their snow-capped peaks and picturesque villages, offer a winter wonderland that beckons travellers seeking both adventure and tranquillity. You can hit the slopes for skiing and snowboarding in renowned Alpine resorts like St. Anton or Kitzbühel, or simply revel in the stunning alpine landscapes. After a day in the mountains, head to Vienna, where the city’s historic charm and festive spirit come to life during the Christmas season.

Vienna, the Austrian capital, is renowned for its Christmas markets, and no visit is complete without experiencing the magic of these enchanting gatherings. The Christkindlmarkt in front of the Rathaus (City Hall) is a particular highlight, with its sparkling lights, artisan crafts, and delightful aromas of traditional Austria treats like roasted chestnuts and glühwein (mulled wine). The city’s grand palaces and cathedrals, such as Schönbrunn Palace and St. Stephen’s Cathedral, are adorned with festive decorations and host special holiday concerts, adding a touch of cultural richness to your Christmas experience.

The combination of outdoor adventures in the Alps and the cultural indulgence of Vienna makes this Christmas vacation unforgettable.

St. Barts

St. Barts, a Caribbean paradise known for its luxurious lifestyle and stunning beaches, emerges as one of the most alluring Christmas vacation destinations for 2023. This French-speaking island offers a unique blend of tropical charm and festive celebrations during the holiday season. The pristine white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush green landscapes create a tranquil backdrop for a Christmas getaway. Imagine unwinding in a luxury villa or boutique resort while enjoying the gentle Caribbean breeze and soaking up the sun, a stark contrast to the chilly winter weather in many other parts of the world.

St. Barts embraces the holiday season with open arms, with its local traditions, including festive street parades and vibrant displays of Christmas lights. The island’s many high-end restaurants and beach clubs offer special holiday menus and events, allowing visitors to savour the flavours of French and Caribbean cuisine in style. While the island is well-known for its glamorous atmosphere, it also retains its serene natural beauty, with numerous hiking trails, snorkelling spots, and secluded coves for those seeking adventure and solitude.

New York City – United States

New York City, often referred to as the “Big Apple,” shines as one of the best Christmas vacation destinations for 2023. The city that never sleeps truly comes alive during the holiday season, with a dazzling display of lights, decorations, and festive spirit. A highlight of any trip to New York in December is the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, a massive, brilliantly lit spruce that serves as the centrepiece for a grand skating rink. Visitors can enjoy a romantic ice-skating session while surrounded by glittering skyscrapers and holiday music—a quintessential New York experience.

The city’s neighbourhoods each offer their own unique Christmas charm. Fifth Avenue is adorned with high-end department store window displays that are like works of art, while Bryant Park hosts a European-inspired Christmas market where you can shop for artisan gifts and savour international cuisine. And don’t forget a visit to Times Square, where the electronic billboards are replaced with holiday greetings and the famous ball drop that marks the arrival of the New Year is eagerly anticipated.

New York City’s Broadway theatres also get into the holiday spirit with special performances and festive decorations. Moreover, you can warm up with a cup of hot cocoa or spiced apple cider from the many street vendors scattered throughout the city.

Zurich – Switzerland

Zurich, the picturesque Swiss city nestled along the banks of the Limmat River and the shores of Lake Zurich, emerges as one of the most enchanting Christmas vacation destinations for 2023. Known for its stunning Old Town with cobblestone streets and medieval architecture, Zurich transforms into a magical winter wonderland during the holiday season. The city’s Christmas markets, such as the Christkindlimarkt at Zurich’s main train station and the Sechseläutenplatz market, come to life with festive decorations, twinkling lights, and the scent of mulled wine and freshly baked goods. Visitors can shop for unique gifts, savour Swiss delicacies like raclette and fondue, and immerse themselves in the warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Zurich’s scenic beauty is accentuated during the winter months as the surrounding Alps get dusted with snow, providing a stunning backdrop for the city’s holiday festivities. The Zurich Opera House and the city’s theatres host special holiday performances, adding a touch of culture to your Christmas vacation. Don’t miss the chance to take a cruise on Lake Zurich, which offers breathtaking views of the snow-covered Alps and the city’s illuminated skyline, creating a truly magical experience.

Zurich seamlessly combines tradition with modernity, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a charming and cosmopolitan Christmas vacation.


Anguilla, a Caribbean gem with its pristine white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, is an idyllic choice for a Christmas vacation in 2023. This tranquil island paradise offers an escape from the winter chill with its warm, tropical climate and a serene ambience that’s perfect for a restful holiday retreat. Imagine celebrating Christmas on the beach, where you can bask in the sun, take refreshing dips in the crystal-clear sea, and relax in luxury resorts and villas that dot the coastline.

Anguilla embraces the holiday season with a unique blend of local traditions and Caribbean charm. The island’s friendly locals, known as Anguillians, often host festive gatherings and events where visitors can experience the warmth of the community. You can also indulge in delicious Caribbean cuisine at beachfront restaurants, savouring fresh seafood and exotic flavours while listening to the soothing sounds of reggae and calypso music.

Beyond the beach, Anguilla offers opportunities for water sports, such as snorkelling, paddleboarding, and sailing, making it an ideal destination for those seeking both relaxation and adventure.

Munich – Germany

Munich, the capital of Bavaria in Germany, is a quintessential Christmas vacation destination for 2023, offering a perfect blend of rich traditions, festive markets, and Bavarian charm. The city’s enchanting Christmas markets, such as the famous Christkindlmarkt at Marienplatz and the medieval-themed market at Wittelsbacherplatz, transport visitors to a winter wonderland. Adorned with twinkling lights and fragrant with the scents of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine, these markets are a sensory delight where you can shop for handcrafted gifts, sample local treats, and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit.

Munich’s historic architecture, especially during the holiday season, is a sight to behold. The city’s grand cathedrals, such as the Frauenkirche, and ornate palaces like Nymphenburg Palace, are often blanketed in snow, creating a picturesque backdrop for your Christmas adventures. Additionally, Munich’s rich cultural scene comes alive with special holiday performances, including classical concerts and ballets, offering a chance to enjoy world-class entertainment.

One cannot forget Munich’s culinary delights during Christmas. Bavarian cuisine takes centre stage with hearty dishes like sausages, pretzels, and schnitzels served at the markets. And of course, you can’t leave without indulging in traditional Christmas treats like lebkuchen (spiced gingerbread) and stollen (fruitcake).